Although most people want to be able to prepare meals that amaze others, the process to becoming a great chef can often seem overwhelming. You will be able to cook a great meal in little time, if you just go slowly and take it step by step.
If you can, do all the preparing of the meal’s ingredients in advance. The wise cook prepares as much as possible before starting to cook. When you have a limited amount of time, cooking can become stressful. You can help lessen the potential stress by getting all your prep work done early.
Prepare to cook before you actually start cooking. This is why it’s called prep work, because this is what you want to have done before you begin cooking. When you have a limited amount of time, cooking can become stressful. Try and prepare your ingredients ahead of time to avoid unnecessary stress.
A good piece of advice you can observe when cooking with oil is to pour it down the sides of the hot pan. When the oil reaches the food in the middle, it will already be hot. Doing so will give your cooking the best possible flavor.
Try this quick and handy trick to salvage your efforts. Mix two spoons of water and one spoon of corn starch in a bowl. Thicken the sauce by gradually adding this mixture to it. Make sure you stir your sauce and stop pouring the mix once your sauce looks better.
Freeze your meat slightly and you will find that it slices with ease. This method is great for oriental meals that require small strips. When you partially freeze meat, its fibers don’t tear as easily so slicing is cleaner. But, if you use this technique make sure that the meat strips thaw out again before you cook them.
When trying to cut strips of meat, partially freeze it for a more firm cut. This technique is especially useful for the meat slicing styles typically used in Asian cuisine. There’s less tearing of the semi-frozen meat as it’s cleanly sliced. Though before cooking the meat strips, make sure you let them thaw completely. This allows for even cooking.
When you are seasoning meats, try cooking a small piece first and testing it out, before making all of it. Certain foods require special care when seasoning. Hamburgers, meatloaf and meatballs are examples of foods that need to be carefully seasoned. Don’t cook it all at once after you have seasoned it. The more you cook, the better you will get at using the right amount of spices and seasonings. This is a good way to find out if you got the seasoning right.
When you add seasoning to your meats, test a little bit before you cook the whole thing. Particularly meats such as ground beef will need to be seasoned carefully. Do not cook everything right after adding the seasoning. Start with a small amount of the spiced meat first. This will give you the ability to adjust the seasoning in the rest of the meat if needed.
They will act like a sponge and just soak up a lot of that water. Get a wet cloth instead, and wipe off each mushroom by hand.
Store your apples correctly so you can use them to cook during the winter months. To keep apples at the peak of perfection, store them in your refrigerator or basement. But remember that one bad apple really does spoil the bunch; check on them regularly.
All sugars, flours, and mixes should be stored in airtight containers. These sorts of containers will help keep all of your foods fresh and safe from bugs. These can be bought at almost any store.
Ice trays can be a great tool for freezing sauces. Take them out to use on another night when you’d like a no hassle home cooked meal. Simply reheat the sauce cubes slowly in a medium pan on your stove top. Freezing the sauce in this manner will keep it fresh and ready to be reheated.
Chicken broth is a great cooking base for vegetables. Chicken broth adds flavor to vegetables and prevents them from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan. Chicken broth is readily available at any grocery store, and is very inexpensive.
Keep in mind that tofu and beans are excellent sources of protein when you want to add more protein to your diet. You can buy both items at almost any grocery store, and they will fit into any budget. The tofu can be lightly seasoned and pan fried, which makes for a great alternative to meat. Beans can always be cooked with some spices and herbs for a meal full of flavor and protein.
When you cook vegetables, use chicken broth. Simmering vegetables in the broth will keep them from adhering to the bottom of the pan and also infuse them with rich flavor. There is not a lot of expense when buying chicken broth, and most grocers carry it.
If you are cooking a meal where seasoning gets added, don’t add it all at the beginning, add a little every couple of minutes instead. Doing this gives your food more flavor and you can get the most from your ingredients.
Read labels when shopping for recipe ingredients. Cooking staples can be full of not-so-nice things that can spoil your health. You need to see to it that the ingredients are not high in sugar or sodium because both may cause complications to your health if consumed in large quantities.
When you are planning to make a meal that needs garlic, buy garlic that is fresh. Freshness heightens the possibility that the garlic will be sweeter tasting. Truly fresh garlic will not be bruised, shriveled or overly soft.
Tomatoes can be easily dried. Start by cutting full-sized tomatoes into 1/2″ slices or by halving Roma tomatoes. Put them on a rack with the cut side up and add sufficient salt. Set your oven to 190 degrees, place the rack on a baking sheet and let the tomatoes dry in the oven for approximately 10 hours. Put the bags of tomatoes in your freezer. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. Put your canned tomatoes in the fridge and be sure to use them in the next two weeks.
Don’t use bitter, sour, or tasteless wine in your recipes. Using wine that does not appeal to your palate when you are cooking can lead to a meal that lacks the flavor you desire. You could try wine that is specifically formulated for cooking purposes.
After a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving or any other occasion, do not discard the leftovers. Freeze cut turkey in a tightly sealed container. Turkey remains fresh up to three weeks after being frozen.
Put your fresh herbs together in a bunch and use kitchen shears to cut them all at once. Chopping herbs often makes herbs wet and wilted. Using scissors gives your herbs a light, fluffy appearance.
When using fresh herbs in your meal, including dill and parsley, place the herbs together in bunches, and cut them with scissors. The leaves will be fuller and more crisp than they would have been if they were wet.
To make pasta sauce even more delicious, save some of the water you boiled the pasta in. You will need to save roughly one quarter cup of water. When you are ready to mix your sauce and pasta together, incorporate some of this water. The combination of water and the starch from the pasta will give your sauce body and creaminess.
Always follow the directions on the box when making a simple mac and cheese. The macaroni will be cooked just right and the creamy goodness of the cheese melting everywhere will be a crowd-pleaser. Serve your dish with a nice serving spoon. Add you favorite condiments and spices for a delicious meal.
Prepare the perfect sandwich for your guests by spreading the mayo evenly everywhere on the bread. You can’t be in a rush and just squirt it on the bread! Make sure they get the flavor of your spread in every bite for the optimal sandwich experience.
If you want to try a more advanced recipe, make it more manageable by prepping the day before. Make sure you have all your ingredients before you start cooking, and that you shop and measure them so they are ready to go. The next day when you have to cook your meal, all you need to think about is assembling and cooking the dish.
Tying up your turkey with a piece of string is called trussing. Trussing keeps the legs and wings close to the body of the bird, so that cooking happens evenly. If not tied down, the tips of the wings and legs tend to burn easily while the rest of the bird is still cooking.
Pay attention to details, such as how you apply the condiments, and all of your culinary creations will be impressive. Many times, people are in a hurry and just put some mayo in the middle. If you take the time to spread your condiments evenly, your entire sandwich will taste excellent.
Spices and herbs need to be stored somewhere that is dark, cool and dry. Exposure to humidity, heat and light can cause your spices to lose their flavor fast. This will keep them exposed to heat and other unfavorable conditions that zap all of their flavor.
If you are going to have a barbecue, then prepare your grill in advance so that you can start grilling right away. It’s a good idea to prepare the grill about half an hour before you’re going to use it. The coals should have an ash covering, and this means they are at medium heat. This is the best grilling temperature.
To enhance the flavor in a simple dish use fresh herbs. Dried herbs lose flavor as they cook and are fine to use in recipes that are filled with a variety of flavors. Fresh herbs tend to be better if you want to have a fresher and stronger overall taste. You can plant an herb garden to make sure you always have your favorite fresh herbs available.
There are several types of potatoes, and they are not all the same. For example, there are waxy potatoes that are ideal for making potato salad and boiled potatoes but are a poor choice for french fries, baked potatoes, or mashed potatoes. If you plan on making these types of recipes, you should use Russets potatoes as they are made specifically for these.
Different varieties of potatoes can have specific uses; you cannot always use one type in lieu of another. Waxy potatoes are best for potato salad and should be avoided when making mashed potatoes or french fries. Russet potatoes are often recommended for making mashed, fried or baked potato recipes because they have high starch content.
While it may be tempting to create something new to impress that special someone, you should always cook what you know. Whether preparing food for a boss, in-laws or a brand new love interest, you want your cooking to wow them. Cooking them one of your specialties is a safe bet.
Try to prep for the dinner the evening before on a busy day. By chopping veggies for stir-fry or assembling a lasagna to keep in the fridge, you can save yourself a great deal of time and stress while still serving your family a delicious, hot meal.
No matter who you are cooking for, being able to cook well is a valuable tool. Eating with family and friends is a custom that transcends place and culture. If you use the above tips, you will become an awesome cook and everyone will ask you to cook for the next big family event.
If you’ve been handling smelly ingredients like garlic, onions, or fish, try rubbing your hands with stainless steel for about one minute before you wash them. You can use your stainless steel sink or a spoon to quickly remove the odor from your hands.